Ausgrid has today unveiled a community battery in Beacon Hill, which will harness and store solar power from local homes, providing bill savings and allowing more renewable energy into the grid.
The community battery works by allowing local residents to store their excess solar power, and is the first of its kind on Australia’s east coast.
The launch of the community battery marks the start of a two year trial being run by Ausgrid, that aims to transform the way solar energy is stored, reduce resident’s hip-pocket costs and is a big step towards cost effectively increasing the amount of clean energy that goes into the grid.
Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross welcomed NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean and Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan to the unveiling today.
“This is an exciting milestone for Ausgrid and the first step in our community solar battery project which we know can benefit customers by keeping downward pressure on energy prices by reducing peak demand, and supporting the use of renewable energy,” Mr Gross said.
“Put simply, a community battery allows multiple households within a certain radius to ‘share’ a storage system for the excess energy generated by solar panels. This can save households thousands of dollars on the upfront cost of an individual battery, and allow them to effectively use more of the solar energy their home systems generate – bringing down their electricity costs.
“We believe community batteries are the most cost effective way to bring renewable energy into the grid. They provide a service to the residents, allowing them to store their solar, a service to the community by supporting the local network and they provide system security benefits by helping to firm renewables wherever they are generated.
“We are confident the trial will show that community batteries have a huge role to play in the low-cost transition of our energy system,” Mr Gross said.
Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the NSW Government welcomes innovative initiatives that help local homes and businesses reap the rewards of cheap, reliable renewable electricity.
“It’s exciting to see Ausgrid share the vision we have in NSW to use technology and innovation to deliver some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable electricity anywhere in the world.
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“We’ve seen a huge uptake in rooftop solar, but consumers haven’t had a lot of choice when it comes to storing and sharing that cheap energy – community batteries like this could be the solution to that problem.
“This is a win for the community and a win for the environment and I’m thrilled to see the first community battery on the east coast right here in the “Superpower State.”
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said he’s delighted the Northern Beaches residents will be the first on the east coast of Australia to have the opportunity to share in a community battery.
“Beacon Hill was selected as the first trial location because a significant number of residents already have solar panels and because we know our community are such strong advocates for measures that protect our environment,” Mr Regan said.
“We are proud to support initiatives that help residents save on electricity costs, use clean energy and get more value from solar investments. We hope the trial is a success and can be rolled out t more residents in the future.”
The Northern Beaches installation is the first of three community batteries planned for the Ausgrid network in 2021.
Batteries will be installed in suburbs in City of Canterbury Bankstown and Lake Macquarie City Council in the coming months.